Safety concerns raised following fatal pedestrian collision in west Edmonton
Watch above: An elderly woman is dead after being hit by a vehicle in west Edmonton late Saturday afternoon. As Jenna Bridges reports, nearby residents say the crosswalk has been a concern for quite some time.
EDMONTON – Some residents who live near a busy west Edmonton intersection where an elderly woman was hit by a vehicle Saturday say they’ve had concerns about the safety of the intersection for years.
“Sometimes I’m afraid to cross that intersection,” says Emma Dandingan, who often uses the intersection at 170 Street and 95 Avenue. “Sometimes some of the drivers, when the yellow light is already [on], sometimes they go straight, they don’t stop.”
Police were called to the busy west Edmonton intersection around 4:30 p.m. Saturday, after a 73-year-old woman was struck by a truck while crossing the street.
According to police, the truck – a Toyota Tundra – was heading east on 95 Avenue and struck the woman while turning right onto 170 Street. Police say the woman was crossing the street in a marked crosswalk when she was hit.
The woman was taken to the University of Alberta Hospital with serious injuries. She died in hospital early Sunday morning.
“I use this crosswalk twice a day,” says Tracey Nichols, who lives in the area.
“I’ve almost been hit myself.”
“I don’t really use that sidewalk or the crosswalk because it’s very busy,” adds Orsolya Sarokne, who used to use the crosswalk while walking with her two young boys. “People, drivers, don’t really pay attention to the pedestrians. I’m just trying to avoid it.”
Police realize it’s a very busy area, but say the intersection is equipped with speed-on-green and red light cameras.
“It is properly marked,” says Acting Sgt. Philippe Aube with the Edmonton Police Service. “It’s a high-volume location considering that it is four lanes southbound, four lanes northbound, two lanes east and westbound…I can say working in west division for a long period of time that it is a high-traffic location.”
Officers say the woman’s death serves as an unfortunate reminder for motorists and pedestrians to always look out for one another.
“Pedestrian collisions happen way too often, and many pedestrians are struck when they are crossing the street with the right of way. It’s important that motorists and pedestrians pay attention and make eye contact with each other before moving forward,” says Acting Staff Sgt. Gary Lamont with the EPS Traffic Section.
Still, area residents believe more could be done to increase safety in the area.
“I think the green sign for the pedestrian has to be longer. I’m hardly able to walk through while it’s allowed. It’s very, very short,” says Sarokne.
“We need it. It is a short time, you have to run,” adds Dandingan.
The victim’s name has not been released.
Traffic investigators remained on scene for several hours Saturday evening. Officers say speed and alcohol do not appear to have been factors in the collision. Charges are pending against the 42-year-old man who was driving the truck.
This is Edmonton’s third pedestrian fatality and 10th traffic fatality this year.
With files from Jenna Bridges, Global News.
*This story was originally published on Saturday, May 31, 2014. It was updated at 2:57 p.m. MST Sunday.
© Shaw Media, 2014